Coronavirus tiers: Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa calls it unfair to punish teams who won't get fans back

Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham and Newcastle among areas in Tier 3 so no fans allowed to return; 10 Premier League teams, including those from London and Liverpool can welcome back up to 2,000 supporters into stadiums from December 2

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Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa has suggested the introduction of a rule meaning fans can only return if all clubs are allowed to host members of the public

Marcelo Bielsa believes fans should continue to be banned from all Premier League matches until every club is allowed to have them back in.

Under the Government's new tier system in England to tackle the spread of coronavirus, Premier League clubs in Liverpool and London will be able to welcome up to 2,000 fans back at the end of the second lockdown on December 2.

Supporters of 10 of the 20 top-flight teams - Leeds, Manchester City, Manchester United, Aston Villa, Newcastle, Leicester, Burnley, Sheffield United, West Brom and Wolves - have to wait longer before any of them can cheer their teams on inside their grounds.

The city of Leeds has been placed in tier three - classified as 'Very High' risk - and Leeds boss Bielsa agreed "it was correct" that no fans should be allowed in to watch matches at Elland Road.

But the Argentinian added: "Perhaps there could be a rule that states that if fans are not allowed in all stadiums, then they should not be allowed in at all until everybody is allowed to have them in.

Ten Premier League clubs are located in tier 2 areas
Image: Ten Premier League clubs are located in tier 2 areas
Premier League tier 3
Image: Premier League teams in tier 3 areas still cannot have fans inside their stadiums

"It shouldn't be about the category, or the consequences of being in a category, it should be about trying to maintain the competition as equal as possible with things that are controllable.

"I am just looking at common sense, which perhaps doesn't go. The presence of the fans has an effect on the results."

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Hodgson: Palace will benefit more than others

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson welcomed the prospect of the return of a limited number of supporters to Selhurst Park, which could potentially be for the visit of London rivals Tottenham on December 12.

The Eagles boss agrees it could give them, and teams with smaller grounds, an edge.

"It will make a bit more of a difference at Selhurst Park than it will do at some other stadiums, where the capacity is so much higher," said Hodgson.

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Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher is delighted Liverpool will be able to welcome back fans under the new Government tiers but has sympathy for those who will miss out

"But I don't think it is a question really of what difference the fans are going to make, I think it is more of how nice it is going to be for those fans who are selected to be one of those who gets a ticket to be able to see a match live again."

Fulham boss Scott Parker believes having some supporters at Craven Cottage can help "lift" his struggling side.

The Cottagers are 18th in the table, with their only league victory so far this season coming at home against West Brom.

He said: "It's a breath of fresh air, it's what we all want. It's what the fans want and what we want as a team.

"Hopefully from here it progresses. But it's everything, it's why we play the game, to bring people together. It's good news and hopefully we'll be on an upward curve now.

"We've had a long time without fans and we're used to that environment so it might be a little bit strange at first. But in saying that we all understand the impact it has and the lift that atmosphere gives you."

Bruce: Why can't big grounds host more?

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Steve Bruce says allowing some fans back is a ‘small gesture’ but is unsure why larger stadiums are unable to host more socially-distanced supporters

Newcastle manager Steve Bruce says the return of fans is a "step in the right direction" but questioned why larger stadiums are not able to host larger numbers of socially-distanced fans.

The North East has been placed in Tier 3 which means Magpies fans will have to wait even longer to see their team play.

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Dean Smith says Aston Villa fans have been 'sadly missed' at Villa Park and is disappointed they cannot return after Birmingham was placed in tier three

"I can understand 4,000 fans [returning] if there's an 8,000-seated stadium, but what I can't quite digest at the moment is why it's only 4,000 or 2,000 when we've got the capacity to comfortably put somewhere in the region of 15,000 to 20,000 people in," he said.

"It's a step in the right direction and a small gesture. For the smaller clubs, 4,000 or 2,000 is welcome relief because they live off that."

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Brighton manager Graham Potter says having supporters back at the Amex will be an ‘emotional’ occasion

Brighton boss Graham Potter said: "I just think generally it's fantastic news. We had a game against Chelsea with a couple of thousand in pre-season which was a really positive event, the crowd were fantastic even though it was not full. It's such a difference.

"We're looking forward to seeing our fans. They are the most important people at the club. The biggest relationship at the football club is the one between the supporters and the players."

Dean Smith described not having Aston Villa fans at Villa Park as a "big blow" and says he cannot wait for them to be able to watch his team's performances live again.

"They've been sadly missed, especially at Villa Park," Villa boss Smith said. "I can see it from the Government's point of view, but we could easily socially distance at our stadium.

"The nation has become better and more compliant to try and help this pandemic."

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